Friday, June 21, 2024

Pop: One Direction Fans Abandon Zayn Malik, Ignore New Album “Room Under the Stairs,” As If It Didn’t Exist


Where are the One Direction fans? They’ve certainly supported Harry Styles’ solo career. They’ve also been there for Niall Horan.

But when it comes to Zayn Malik, the One Direction followers have gone in another direction. They’re outright ignoring his new album, “Room Under the Stairs.”

Released on May 17th, “Room” has sold about 37,700 copies according to Luminate. About 10,000 of those are from streaming, the rest are downloads or CDs.

On Amazon, “Room” is listed at number 1,076. It’s not even on the iTunes Top 200 albums and no singles have broken out.

“Room” is produced and written with Dave Cobb. The album eschewed Zayn’s R&B background for a more country pop sound that seems to have confused his fans. When Malik first left One Direction, he had a big hit with his song, “Pillow Talk.” He also had a massive hit with Taylor Swift from the “50 Shades of Grey” called “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever.”

But those hits were a long time ago — 2016, to be exact. In 2021, Zayn released an album called “No One Is Listening,” and he was right.

A record industry insider says part of the problem is that Malik “is shy.” It’s clear he’s had mental health issues and has no interest in touring. But “Room” isn’t even charting, which is too bad because it’s certainly no worse than most of the material out there, and actually a bit better.

Most of the songs on “Room” are pretty catchy, although one of them has the acoustic guitar riffs from the Eagles’ “Take It Easy.” But that’s no problem these days. Most of Harry Styles’ songs sound like something from the 70s, too.

Anyway, one single is “Stardust.” With a little effort you could imagine it on the radio. And why not give this guy a break?

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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